Jim Lemon, Garrett Jones

Jim Lemon, left, and Garrett Jones pose with the qualifying medal after sharing the top spot at the 2018 U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying at Washington County GC in Hartford.

HARTFORD — Joe Weber was a magician Wednesday. The La Crosse golfer turned Jim Lemon’s four-foot par putt on the 18th hole at Washington County GC into an 8-footer.

“When you play with someone, you know when a guy’s going to make a putt,” said Lemon, a former University of Wisconsin golfer from Madison. “He had a 15-footer for birdie to go to 2-under. I had about four feet or so for my par after whacking it by. Sure enough, he drains it.”

The meant Lemon, playing in the final group of the day at the local qualifier for next month’s U.S. Mid-Amateur, had to make his par putt to avoid falling into a playoff with Weber for the second berth in the USGA championship for golfers age 25 and older. Garrett Jones of Madison had already punched his ticket to Charlotte (North Carolina) CC with a 3-under-par 69.

“I was like ‘Aw, I really wanted to be able two-putt from four feet,’” Lemon joked in a telephone interview. “But I put a good stroke on it and it went in and it was all good. It was fun to see Joe make that putt. It’s always fun to be under the gun and compete. That’s what I love about it.”

And, for Lemon, there was a lot to love about matching his fellow former Badger for medalist honors. It was the second straight year Lemon has shared the honor at the qualifier after his 5-under 67 a year ago earned him a trip to Atlanta where he shot 78-74 and missed the cut.

Lemon birdied all four par-5s among five birdies in all Wednesday. His birdie at the par-5 17th hole proved to be the biggest as it helped him withstand Weber’s birdie on the following hole.

“I play golf, but I don’t play competitive golf,” said Lemon, 40, a former Canadian Tour golfer who now works as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch. “This is my two-week stretch that I play competitive golf for the year. The Mid-Am (qualifier) plus the (Wisconsin) State Open (next week) with the club championship (at Nakoma GC in Madison) in the middle. That’s fun.”

He’ll be able to add the U.S. Mid-Am, which is Sept. 21 through 27, to the list. And having Jones, who — like Lemon — is a reinstated amateur, in the field will make even more fun.

“Garrett plays a lot more competitive rounds than I do,” Lemon said of Jones, 33, a senior financial associate at RBC Wealth Management who teamed with Michael Bielawski earlier this year to win the WSGA Bestball Championship. “I was a generation ahead of Garrett (at UW), but we’re good friends so when we got in, I gave him a hug and said ‘This is going to be a fun time.’

“It goes from the practice rounds to going out to dinner and stuff like that when we’re out there. It’s nice to have friendly faces while you’re out there, especially with a guy I can really respect and is a good golfer. That’s Garrett. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

T1Garrett Jones  Madison, WI-3F69 
T1Jim Lemon  Madison, WI-3F69 
3Joe Weber  Onalaska, WI-2F70 
T4Cory Aune  Lake Geneva, WI-1F71 
T4Scott Howard  Arbor Vitae, WI-1F71 
T6James Gunsalus  Brookfield, WIEF72 
T6Josh Thomas  Phoenix, AZEF72 
T6Robert Gregorski  Appleton, WIEF72 
T6Blake Johnson  Winnetka, ILEF72 
10Eric Goldapske  Sun Prairie, WI+1F73 
11Michael Jensen  Hartford, WI+2F74 
T12Tony Rossi  Bartlett, IL+3F75 
T12Daniel Benedum  Menomonee Falls, WI+3F75 
T12Jonathan Oaks  Wales, WI+3F75 
T12Jason Summers  Richfield, WI+3F75 
T12Patrick Duffy  Chicago, IL+3F75 
T17Jeffrey Kinnel  Shorewood, WI+4F76 
T17Danny Blaesing  Brookfield, WI+4F76 
T17James Bachhuber  Saint Johns, FL+4F76 
T17Adam Fazio  Wauwatosa, WI+4F76 
T17Joe True  Milwaukee, WI+4F76 
T17Kevin Van Rossum  Hartland, WI+4F76 
T23Ryan Evers  Brookfield, WI+5F77 
T23Garth Gilster  Eagle River, WI+5F77 
T25Eric Bartz  Burlington, WI+6F78 
T25Eric Crost  Lake Zurich, IL+6F78 
T25Bob Mathers  Niceville, FL+6F78 
T28Nathan Boltz  Delavan, WI+7F79 
T28Scott Weber  Lake Bluff, IL+7F79 
T30Jonathan Fall  Cedarburg, WI+8F80 
T30Mike Mueller  Whitefish Bay, WI+8F80 
T32Andrew Ziemer  Denver, CO+10F82 
T32Charles Buhrow  Brookfield, WI+10F82 
T34John Triller  Green Lake, WI+11F83 
T34Michael Shomo  Lake Geneva, WI+11F83 
36Gregory Roberts  North Fond Du Lac, WI+14F86 
37Steve Lico  Menlo Park, CA+15F87